Section 4 // ●●●● Quick Links: 1: Planning 2: Framing 3: Building | Dashboard: Shopify Business Blueprint
Table of Contents
<aside> 🔄 Recap: In the third section, you defined variable and fixed costs, and applied those costs to your business. You also calculated how many units you’d have to sell to break even, and started building your brand.
Pat yourself on the back. You’ve covered most of the ingredients you need to start your business.
But a business isn’t a business without customers. For many entrepreneurs, getting that first sale is an experience they never forget.
Your own first sale moment will be just as exciting for you, and it all starts with marketing and getting your business out there.
There are hundreds of marketing tactics at your disposal. However, if you don’t prioritize based on your business, what you’re selling, and who you’re selling to, you can end up spending a lot of money on marketing without getting many sales in return. It’s best to start by picking the marketing strategies you want to focus on.
“I’m sitting at home and a notification popped up. I checked it and practically leaped from my chair in shock. I had made my first sale! It took me two weeks after opening to make my first sale.”
– Ran Moore, eliotgrey.com
“I was at the cashier at the car wash and heard a cha-ching sound. I looked at the cashier thinking it was her and she looked at me, then I saw my phone and realized it was the Shopify app!”
– Zoe Abel, marigoldshadows.com
These tactics eventually form a well-oiled marketing machine that can make people aware of your business, generate interest in your products, convince them to become customers, and encourage those customers to bring you more customers.
<aside> 👋 Share your store and products with your immediate network of friends and family and any relevant online communities.
<aside> 🏷️ Offer a discount code, through channels like social media and email, to entice people to check out your store.
<aside> 🤳 Share your store on your personal Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat accounts to announce it to your entire network.
<aside> 💻 Join online communities like Reddit / Facebook Groups and post on forums that your target customers frequent.
<aside> 📣 Spend money on paid advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Ads. You can dip your toe into paid ads by spending a small amount of your ad budget to start.
<aside> 📝 Reach out to up and coming bloggers or YouTubers, as they’re always on the lookout for fresh content. The story behind opening your store could be compelling enough for a blogger to highlight your business through a post or product review.
<aside> 💬 Create your own word of mouth advertising. Engage your target audience where they gather offline. Give away some products as free samples that could leave your target audience wanting more.
<aside> 🌟 Work with influencers to spread the word. Influencers exist on every online channel and vary in audience size. This is a great way to tap into an existing fanbase and get content created about your products.
🎉 Congrats! If you’ve completed all the sections of The Business Blueprint, you’ve successfully transformed an idea into a plan that you can start turning into a business today.
At this point, you’ve completed developing a solid business idea, found competitors, and a variable target audience. You’ve narrowed down products to sell, determined the break-even point for your business, as well as marketing opportunities for continued growth.
Now, you can look forward to the year ahead and set some goals broken down into a few phases:
<aside> ⚡ Hot Tip: Looking for ways to compile your goals? Check out these different approaches to setting, tracking, and conquering your goals.
[ ] Your first sale to a complete stranger
Making that first sale to someone not in the family photos is a significant milestone. Use the first sale opportunity as a way to forge a bond with a real, bonafide customer.
[ ] Your first store visits from web search
There’s no better proof of product-market fit than someone searching the web and finding the products you’re selling.
[ ] Selling from paid advertising
One of your first goals should be to discover a repeatable and profitable approach to marketing, such as paid advertising. Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook allow you to scale success as you continue to refine your target audience.
[ ] Positive ROI from your organic marketing channels
Social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing often make up a sizable amount of total marketing spend but should attract quality traffic to a website in return.
[ ] You start seeing consistent orders
You’ll know you’ve nailed product-market fit when you receive a steady stream of orders, whether that’s once a day for low-ticket items, or weekly for higher-ticket items.
[ ] Outsource a business-related task
When you first start working on a business, you often have to do everything yourself. But as your business grows, consider hiring professionals to help with marketing, design, and even product manufacturing. That way, you can focus on growing your business and not just running it.
[ ] Your first shopping spike
Take advantage of shopping surges from flash sales, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and other seasonal events. Just make sure you’re prepared for the increased orders, supplies, and customer support required during these periods.
[ ] You take a vacation
You’ve put your absolute all into starting your business, and you deserve an opportunity to rest before jumping back in. Self care is really important to keep you and your business at your best. Make sure to take breaks and recharge regardless of what phase your business is in, this will ensure you can come back stronger.
<aside> 👏 Great work! Return to the main dashboard: Shopify Business Blueprint
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